No "we" should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people's pain.
To the militant, identity is everything.
In fact, there are many uses of the innumerable opportunities a modern life supplies for regarding—at a distance, through the medium of photography—other people's pain.
"If it bleeds, it leads" runs the venerable guideline of tabloids and twenty- four-hour headline news shows.
Awareness of the suffering that accumulates in a select number of wars happening elsewhere is something constructed.
The image as shock and the image as cliche are two aspects of the same presence.
Whether the photograph is understood as a naive object or the work of an experienced artificer, its meaning – and the viewer's response - depends on how the picture is identified or misidentified; that is, on words.
Normally, if there is any distance from the subject, what a photograph "says" can be read in several ways.
It is always the image that someone chose; to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude.
We want the photographer to be a spy in the house of love and of death, and those being photographed to be unaware of the camera, "off guard."
Photographs objectify: they turn an event or a person into something that can be possessed. All memory is individual, unreproducible—it dies with each person. What is called collective memory is not a remembering but a stipulating: that this is important, and this is the story about how it happened, with the pictures that lock the story in our minds.
The problem is not that people remember through photographs, but that they remember only the photographs.
All images that display the violation of an attractive body are, to a certain degree, pornographic.
Remembering is an ethical act, has ethical value in and of itself. Memory is, achingly, the only relation we can have with the dead.
To make peace is to forget. To reconcile, it is necessary that memory be faulty and limited.
桑塔格反复地强调身份和立场在情感建构和叙事中的重要性。从来没有一张“简单”的照片，任何一张照片只要进入公共话语都必须要回答，谁拍的，拍的谁，给谁看，看什么。因此也就不认同伍尔夫说战争照片就是simply a crude statement of fact addressed to the eye，拍照片的过程是一重创作/建构，经过媒介阐释引发的情感是第二重建构。所以每当我们旁观他人的痛苦的时候，应该时刻保持一种警醒，是否因为自身和痛苦的距离甚远就在内心营造出一种冷漠的表面的做作的同情，这种同情除了安抚观者自身，并不能为痛苦的来源产生什么实际作用。旁观本身也是一种现代经验。